Being a boss today is not easy and learning how to excel is surprisingly not hard. But it does take time, energy and an interest in developing and using the necessary skills.
According to a Gallup poll, over 71 percent of employees are in jobs that don’t fit them (and includes people in “boss” positions). Bosses with poor managerial styles are often the No. 1 reason employees leave.
So, although it is not easy being a boss today, you can improve your boss savvy. Here’s how.
First, Not Everyone Should Be a Boss! (We need to get this out of the way.)
See if any of these situations apply to you:
- -If you have been (or are) a top performer, you excelled as an independent contributor. While you may have the necessary people or project management skills, many times you don’t have the interest in managing people on a daily basis. If this is the case, redesigning your job responsibilities or going back to being an independent contributor would be best for your career.
- -If you do have the interest in developing the skills, ask for help. The key is to hire a coach and follow through as part of your normal daily actions.
- -Remember, if you are fired, talk about your failures and successes with a therapist or career coach who can help you get real about future careers that fit you!
Second, Improving Your Boss Skills Requires Interest, Time and Energy on a Daily Basis
First, ask yourself if you are really interested in putting in the time and energy to develop yourself to be a great boss. If you answered yes, here are actions you can take:
- -Take workshops to develop project and people management skills (e.g., learn how to hire well, coach people, manage for unprecedented results, make better decisions, etc.).
- -Select an internal company mentor. He or she can help you navigate written policies and unwritten expectations.
- -Hire an external coach to confidentially eliminate the controversial “shoulds” of how employees are supposed to act. Being able to vent and not worry about future promotions and job opportunities is critical. Work with a coach who uses qualified assessments and qualified 360-feedback assessments to guide you in developing a natural style that works for you and others!
Third, It’s No Longer Just About You
And, here’s why…
- -Being a great boss means it’s no longer about you! (Yes, that needed to be repeated!) You need to be available for your employees, find them the necessary resources and support their efforts.
- -You have a responsibility to balance the needs of the company, your peers and all employees in an ethical and fair manner, while supporting customers and vendors too!
- -You have to be willing to do the right things the right way by following policies and procedures. AND, you have to know when to step outside of the norm to handle special circumstances.
- -Lack of integrity (e.g., fudging numbers, gossiping, theft, playing favorites), lack of compassion, failing to listen or stealing others’ ideas are the fastest ways to torpedo your success.
- -Your potentially biggest pitfall? If you want to be liked more than respected. Many times, this type of boss makes ineffective or inappropriate decisions. Great bosses are both liked and respected.
Fourth, Ongoing Development Is Required
What does that mean?
- -Great bosses hire a coach and do the work. They know there are no shortcuts.
- -Take courses or programs (e.g., supervisory, communication, leadership and project management) designed to help you understand yourself and your hidden biases. Workshops give you insights into fine-tuning your approach to get the results you want to achieve.
- -Annually (yes, once a year) take a refresher course on employment and legal updates. Focus on how to prevent negative issues from occurring.
By paying attention to the challenges and solutions raised in this article, you will learn how to excel and be a great boss…if you have the interest to do so.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2017
Need a speaker or facilitator for your company’s executive group? Have issues to address? Conflicts to resolve? Contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that works!
Jeannette Seibly is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant. Are you a boss who wants to excel? Are you willing to make simple and effective changes? Check out her website , or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.